The Bowes Museum > What's On > Christmas at The Bowes Museum

Christmas at The Bowes Museum

A varied programme of scintillating Christmas activities celebrates the festive season at The Bowes Museum. Ranging from a popular annual market, to Santa’s enchanted wonderland grotto, the events promise something magical for all the family.  

Festive events

Afternoon Tea with Jazz

24 November, 2.15, Adult £19.95
Enjoy afternoon tea with a selection of seasonal sandwiches, dainty desserts and Christmas scones, all washed down served with Premium Tea or Fairtrade Coffee in the magnificent surroundings of the Picture Galleries with live jazz vocals and piano.



Singing for the Brain Christmas Special

29 November, 10.30 - 12.00, Free for pass holders or normal admission
Singing for the Brain sessions use singing to bring people living with dementia together in a friendly and stimulating way. In this session, we’ll explore the Museum decorated for Christmas before having some refreshments and a festive singalong in the picture galleries. For more information and to book, please contact Sharon Simms  0191 3890400 To learn more about Singing for the Brain, please visit here.


Festive Friday

6 December, 5.00 - 7.00
Come and join us for a fun and festive evening at the Museum. Enjoy relaxed late night shopping for Christmas gifts, cards and decorations, and delicious food and drinks in Café Bowes from our seasonal Winter menu. The galleries will be decorated for Christmas, so it’s the perfect time to come and make some memories around the trees and enjoy the wonderful Winter exhibitions.


Yuletide Festive Lunch with Carols

8 December, 12.30, Adults £25.95, Child £17.95
Celebrate Christmas with a delicious 3 course lunch with live festive music in the magnificent surroundings of the Jubilee Room while enjoying stunning panoramic views of Teesdale.

View The Menu     Book here

Santa’s Enchanted Wonderland Grotto

1, 6, 7, 8, 21 & 22 December, 10.30 - 5.00, £12.00 Child, Inc entry to Grotto for accompanying adult 

9 - 12 & 16 - 20 December, 16 - 20 December, 3.30 - 6.00, £12.00 Child, Inc entry to Grotto for accompanying adult 

14 - 15 December (Christmas Market) 10.00 - 4.30, SOLD OUT!

Santa is coming to the Museum again this December, so come and join us for a magical family experience. First, visit Santa’s workshop where his friendly elves will help you make some Christmas crafts. Then, meet Santa all cosy in his sitting room, where he will complete the magic with an early Christmas present. 

Book Here:

By booking, you are agreeing to the following terms and conditions>.

Sunday 1 December

10.30 11.30 12.00 12.30 15.30 16.00 16.30

Friday 6 December

5.00 5.30 6.00 6.30

Saturday 7 December

11.00 12.00 12.30 15.00 15.30 16.00 16.30

Sunday 8 December

16.00 16.30

Monday 9 December

15.30 16.00 16.30 17.00 17.30

Tuesday 10 December

15.30 16.00 16.30 17.00 17.30

Wednesday 11 December

15.30 16.00 16.30 17.00 17.30

Thursday 12 December

15.30 16.00 16.30 17.00 17.30 18.00 18.30

Saturday 14 December

All slots fully booked!

Sunday 15 December

All slots fully booked!

Monday 16 December

15.30 16.00 16.30 17.00 17.30

Tuesday 17 December

15.30 16.00 16.30 17.00 17.30

Wednesday 18 December

15.30 16.00 16.30 17.00 17.30

Thursday 19 December

15.30 16.00 16.30 17.00 17.30 18.00

Friday 20 December

15.30 16.00 16.30 17.00 17.30 18.00 18.30

Saturday 21 December

All slots fully booked!

Sunday 22 December

All slots fully booked!


*These sessions include lower lighting and music levels, with a meet and greet style Santa visit where children can approach Santa if and when they choose to.


Christmas Market

13, 14 & 15 December, 10.00 - 4.00, £5.00 per adult, £2.50 per child

Join us for the feel good event of the season with festive food, crafts and music. 

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Information about closing

19 March 2020

Unfortunately, due to the continuing development of the Coronavirus situation, The Bowes Museum is now closed until further notice. The health and wellbeing of both our customers and our staff is our priority.

Where events can be rescheduled we will endeavour to do so but please be assured that all ticket holders for cancelled events have options on refunds and can contact, however by not requesting a refund you would be making an exceptionally generous and much appreciated charitable donation to The Bowes Museum during these unprecedented times.

Whilst the Museum is closed, we will be working on other ways of sharing our story and collection via our digital platforms. Stay posted for online videos, conversations and more.

We thank you for your patience and your continued support for The Bowes Museum during this unpredictable time. We hope to come back to you with a reopening date shortly, for now, please stay safe and help protect the vulnerable.

25 March 2020

It is with great sadness that The Bowes Museum has taken the decision to temporarily close all gates to the grounds following a spate of vandalism around the parkland.

Since the Museum closed on Wednesday 18 March the benches in the story area have been damaged, the totem pole pulled over and broken, there have been attempts to pull out outdoor trail markers and branches have been pulled down and plants uprooted.

The Museum is working with the police to find the perpetrators of these actions. PC Michael Banks of Durham Constabulary said "This is a shameful piece of criminal damage within the grounds of a historical location in Barnard Castle anyone with information please contact Durham Constabulary quoting reference number DHM23032020-0189"

The Director of The Bowes Museum, Adrian Jenkins, said: "It is a shame that the actions of a few will have an impact on many but this closure also ties in with the latest government advice to stay at home to help restrict the spread of coronavirus and the Museum is following in the footsteps of other organisations who have closed gated parks and gardens.

There are tips from our education officer on the Museum's social media platforms for keeping the kids, and yourselves, entertained while in isolation and we'll be updating the website regularly with new and exciting information about the collection.

In the meantime, please keep safe and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Museum and grounds when it reopens."

You can keep up to date with developments here or on our Facebook and Twitter.

We’ll be back…